Paul von Hindenburg becomes President


The presidential elections in the spring of 1925 appeared to mark a turning-point in the history of the Weimar Republic. President Ebert, the former Social Democratic Chancellor, who had held office since the Republic’s foundation, died on 28 February 1925. In the election held at the end of March the Nazis put up Ludendorff as their candidate, but won no more than 211,000 votes out of a total of close on 27 millions. As none of the candidates obtained a clear majority, a second election was held in April. This time the Nazis abandoned Ludendorff (this was the cause of the final breach between Hitler and Ludendorff) and supported Field-Marshal von Hindenburg, who had been brought in at the last minute by the Nationalists. Hindenburg won by a narrow margin to the anger and dismay of the democratic and republican forces. But the Nazis had little cause for congratulation. For the election of Hindenburg, the greatest figure of the old Army, a devoted Monarchist, a Conservative, and a Nationalist, had the paradoxical effect, in the short run, of strengthening the Republic. The simple fact that Hindenburg was at the head of the State did more than anything else could have done to reconcile traditionally minded and conservative Germans to the Republican regime. At the same time his scrupulous respect for the democratic constitution during the first five years of his Presidency cut the ground away from under the feet of those who attacked the Republic as the betrayal of the national cause.


  1. Bullock, Alan. Hitler: A Study in Tyranny. New York: Harper & Row, 1964. Print. 132.



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